This week in Johannesburg our correspondent Siya Moringe has been chatting it up with Africa’s best and brightest minds!
This time he caught up with one of Nigeria’s top storytellers and trend forecasters Franklin Ozekhome. He shared an insightful understanding of the Nigerian digital citizen and the latest trendsetters. Ozekhome also shared a historical overview of where the influences came from that gave birth to the modern trend, highlighting the importance of being seen and respected because of your affiliation with a particular brand.
How does the average Nigerian consumer use social media as a tool to get their brand out there?
I think to them it’s beyond Social Media, it’s like a best friend. So what it does is it actually inspires them to actually start thinking of the next thing to do. When they see a brand they love, it inspires them to do something else. We all talk about connectivity, but for me it’s about the context of that connectivity, and where will that connectivity take you. Nigerians are interested in knowing where information will lead them. If I have access to Facebook and Instagram, it’s not the fact that I love taking pictures, it’s the fact that if you see what I love I will also be able to communicate with you and trying to do something bigger.
How do brand artists like Davido use Social Media to make sure that them as a Brand they are able to penetrate into different parts of Nigeria?
I think Pop Culture is very unique in the sense that it transcends culture like sports e.g Football. I mean if you are a Northerner, Southerner, Johannesburgener everyone can sit down and play sports. After it’s finished that’s when we see each other as different, “You are South African, oh I’m Nigerian!” But right there we can sit down all together for that moment of football. Pop Culture transcends. Music will bring everyone together, fashion will bring everyone together. What these artists have done very well is that they transcend cultures. So they use codes like skelewu. It doesn’t mean the literal word, it inspires you to re-think what you are doing. Inspiration that you get from them is not just [specific to one thing].
What does the future hold for the Nigerian Consumer and Trendsetter in regard to Social Media?
First of all we need to delete a word from our vocabulary – consumer. Nigerians are beyond consumers. They are a people. They are a movement. When you start looking at Nigeria, you must remember you are looking at 17 million people as a movement behind your brand. Imagine where you can go?! It’s time to stop looking at them as consuming your brand. Re-think what can happen – I do for this consumer so that they can live their lives better. If you do that, it means you are smart, they will literally move towards your brand.
Siya Moringe is a South African filmmaker, visual artist, activist, creative writer, and aspiring journalist.